The area called Tidewater Virginia, encompasses a large area from the Lower Chesapeake Bay down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Before the coming of “civilization” and the construction of roads and bridges, there were few pieces of solid earth that would lead to other pieces of high ground without traversing a marsh or waterway. This Tidewater area south of the Elizabeth River, however, yielded commerce for colonists in the 1600’s that included shingles, tobacco, lumber, grain, and naval stores, that were moved north to market. What became known as the Great Road is what enabled these products to reach buyers in Norfolk. The primary bridge on the Great Road would logically be called Great Bridge. Since the Great Road and Great Bridge were the only through-route that joined mainland Virginia to the ports at Norfolk, Great Bridge would become the site of a short, but critical, battle in the Revolutionary War. Great Bridge is still there, and the Great Road has become Battlefield Blvd. It is still a major route that carries non-stop, bumper-to-bumper traffic.
Entering Battlefield Marsh
Great Blue Heron
A YP is a yard patrol boat. These are smaller naval vessels used for training and survey work. At the U.S. Naval Academy, they are the platform for teaching young midshipmen shipboard duties, vessel operation, and seamanship. YP-678 is 108-ft. long with a 24-ft beam and 8-ft draft, of 176-tons, and powered by two Detroit diesel engines that produce a cruising speed of 12 kts. Her keel was laid in 1983, launched in Nov., 1984, put in operation at the Academy in May, 1985, and decommissioned in Nov., 1998. It seems a shame for such a nice craft to have only an official span of operation of thirteen years. Besides the designation of YP-678, she was known as the USS Judgment.
USS Judgment (YP-678) in happier days, steaming down
the St. Lawrence River.